Country of Lost Souls – Filling the Void with Yoga.
By Annea Hapçiu
In an attempt to rekindle the ragged post-war image of our newly born country of Kosovo, my sister and I take pictures of Yoga poses inspired by a local historical landmark, monument, ritual or landscape, write a story and share it with the world to show a different image of our home.
Captivated by the struggle witnessed among the people to adjust to life after the war, their toil to find belonging among the ruins, we depict our journey in the Chinese quart in Prishtina.
You happen to find them in any town. Their presence is in structure, though they seem to never quite manage to be able to live their purpose — nor fully fit in to their surroundings.
They are like those rich lost souls, who have so much to give, yet are unable to reflect their shining lights through the cracks of the places they live in.
Such is the so-called Chinese quart in Prishtina.
Many passersby, even though acknowledging its aesthetic appeal, often draw away from walking through its idyllic center, preferring rather to walk through the crowded sidewalks on the other side.
Many seem to not really know its exact name and refer to the complex based on some restaurants found there.
Envisioned as in velvet strip of shops for arts and crafts, the Chinese quart is home to a number of small boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries, which after all seem to be doing fine, considering they have been there for a while.
Walking through the center of the soulfully rich quart, gives a temporary escape from the noisy street leading to the main park of the town.
The presence of a sense of desertedness, found meaningful only by a few who seem to linger in its center, makes the quart even more enchanting.
The forlorn beauty remains as a bridge connecting the old town of Prishtina, leading its way to the main park. Even if not fully being availed to its potential, the quart seemingly in a way acknowledges its place in town.
Enkindled by its silence, we set to fill in the remaining void with some place-inspired Yoga poses.
Paripurna Navasana: Like the boat cradling in storm, the quart finds a balancing spot to keep itself alive in every era.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana: While the side of the quart facing the street keeps its liveliness with shops and restaurant, it is the trees and some wild greenery in the center of it that attract avian tweets, keeping its soulfulness.
Supta Virasana: Like the reclining hero, the quart has witnessed many shops and restaurants opening and closing in its premises, regardless it has endured through times.
Natarajasana: The artsy locals strive to enliven the center, by organizing exhibits in the small galleries from time, in a way hoping to make way for a recurring promenade.
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Annea Hapçiu is a graduate of the University of Dayton, deeply passionate and interested in bettering and beautifying the world, through the creation, leadership and implementation of worthy, impactful, effective and sustainable projects. Through her passions of creativity, music, performance, film and her background in Entrepreneurship and Marketing, she strives to promote and enliven her country, Kosovo, while helping and educating people to live a healthy lifestyle. You can meet her at the first Yoga studio in Kosovo, N’Yoga, or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Take a look at my TEDx Prishtina Women talk on a journey of branding through Yoga.